SDS Mailbag: Top SEC NFL Draft prospect, SEC hoops sleeper and best SEC RB in 2021
Well, folks, we’ve made it to the end of the 2020 football season. Alabama is the champion, winning a sixth title under Nick Saban.
But, now it’s time to put all that behind us. College hoops season is in full swing. Spring football will be here before we know it. We have National Signing Day in February and the NFL Draft in April, so it’ll be a busy offseason.
Speaking of the NFL Draft, let’s get to your questions for this week’s SDS Mailbag!
Now that many players are declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft, which player from the SEC would you have at the top of your big board if you were an NFL GM?
Going into the season, I would have predicted that LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase was going to be the first SEC player off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. While I still think he has the potential to be a top-10 pick, we’ll have to see how he fares in the NFL Combine (assuming there is one this year). I don’t fault anyone for opting out of the 2020 season, but we’ll see how NFL teams assess players who did that.
Meanwhile, DeVonta Smith burst onto the scene. He won the Heisman Trophy and had a season for the record books. I could see Smith and Chase both going in the 5-8 range. In order, those picks belong to the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers. It would be interesting if the Bengals decided to draft Chase to pair him with QB Joe Burrow again. That connection obviously worked really well for the 2019 LSU Tigers.
The X-factor is Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II. I could see him going to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4. But, as things stand right now, I’m going to guess that Smith will be the first SEC player drafted and that he’ll go No. 6 to the Eagles.
Maybe I should be an NFL GM. I couldn’t do a worse job than Bill O’Brien did with the Texans, right? … Right?
Which team currently in the bottom half of the SEC men’s basketball standings has the best chance to move into the top half by the end of the year?
Having watched Sharife Cooper play 2 games at Auburn, it’s gotta be the Tigers. Yes, they’re only 1-4 in SEC play after a win at Georgia on Wednesday night, but Cooper has been incredible. He recorded a 28-point, 12-assist double-double in that game and looked effortless doing it.
I mean, just look at this pass:
— Drew (@orangeanddrew) January 14, 2021
Cooper is playing chess. Everyone else is playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos or something.
Fellow freshman JT Thor is also coming into his own. And, in perhaps the best news for Auburn fans, freshman sharpshooter Justin Powell figures to return from an injury soon. He has yet to play alongside Cooper, and that thought alone should strike fear into the hearts of every SEC team.
Will any writers be stupid enough to claim that Chris Rodriguez isn’t the best RB in the SEC in 2021?
At the risk of being one of those stupid writers, I must sheepishly raise my hand here. Yes, Rodriguez will be “one of” the best running backs in the SEC in 2021, but if Nebraska transfer RB/WR Wan’Dale Robinson chooses the Wildcats, as has been rumored, he’ll theoretically be a big part of the Kentucky offense this coming season.
Yes, Rodriguez had a great 2020 season, running for 785 yards on only 119 carries (6.6 yards per carry) and had 11 touchdowns, but he loses a couple of key offensive linemen. And the Kentucky QB situation is far from settled.
Meanwhile, South Carolina returns Kevin Harris, who had more yards and more touchdowns than Rodriguez. Tank Bigsby figures to be back at Auburn. Zamir White is returning to Georgia. Either Trey Sanders or Brian Robinson could have big years at Alabama. Jerrion Ealy is a sleeper at Ole Miss. Isaiah Spiller is returning to Texas A&M.
Again, I’m not saying Rodriguez won’t be the best of the bunch, but acting like it’s a forgone conclusion at this point is a bit foolish. We’ll see what happens this fall.
The Weeknd is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show this year. Who was your all-time favorite Super Bowl halftime performer?
First of all, I have to say it seems crazy to me that the Foo Fighters have never headlined the halftime show. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Great rock band, non-controversial, would be popular with NFL fans.
As for past shows, I’m partial to The Black Eyed Peas in 2011, but that’s just because I’m a Green Bay Packers fan and the Packers won the Super Bowl that year. Strictly for halftime purposes, I think we had a great stretch of performers from 2007 to 2009, with Prince, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen headlining those 3 shows in order.
Prince was pretty awesome. But you can’t go wrong picking any of those 3 I mentioned above. Let’s see if The Weeknd can live up to that.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.